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Bangkok protesters demand political change

Red Shirt supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra stage anti-government protests in Bangkok on April 3, 2010.
Red Shirt supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra stage anti-government protests in Bangkok on April 3, 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Thousands of supporters of ousted Thai premier Shinawatra take to streets
  • Group knowns as "red shirts" demanding that the PM dissolve the parliament soon
  • Demonstrations began on March 14 and protesters say they will continue until demands are met
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Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- Thousands of people hit the streets of Bangkok Saturday, extending the weeks-long anti-government protests, police said.

Police estimated that as many as 10,000 members of the group United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship were in the heart of Bangkok, blocking intersections near luxury shopping malls and a holy shrine.

The opposition group, also known as the "red shirts," is demanding that the prime minister dissolve the parliament soon.

The protests Saturday come after Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva met with the leaders of the opposition group. Those meetings Sunday and Monday ended in a stalemate.

Cheerful, dancing red shirt protests

Protesters are continuing demonstrations that began on March 14. A member of the group told CNN the group will continue to protest until their conditions are met.

The protesters are supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a bloodless military coup in 2006. Thaksin was the only Thai prime minister to serve a full term and remains hugely popular.

He fled the country in 2008 while facing trial on corruption charges that he say were politically motivated. The protesters say Abhisit Vejjajiva was not democratically elected and have demanded that he call elections.

CNN's Kocha Olarn contributed to this report.

 
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